Found Out About You

Yesterday, I felt punk and stayed home. In the distance, I heard the persistent whirr of chainsaws. When I opened the door in the late afternoon, the air smelled of pine and chipping wood. I walked around a crew feeding giant branches of the huge old trees around the apartment complex, and in the case of the pine, the whole tree. I walked through the floral carnage with my mouth wide open and a feeling of rolling horror.

Today, when I came home from the library, the crew and the chipper blocked the end of the cul-de-sac so I parked some distance from my apartment. A man came over and asked me to move my car because he wanted to trim the branches of the pine I’d parked near, so I moved my car around the trailer. When I got out of my car and walked toward my door, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I turned around and shouted at the crew. The man who spoke to me before came over. He and his crew had cut the two tall, beautiful holly trees framing the front door down to the root. The trees were gone and there was nothing left but three inch stumps. I screamed at him, “What is WRONG with you? These were healthy trees! You don’t destroy healthy trees.”

“The boss told us. We do what he say.”

“Where is he?”

“He back tomorrow. We do what he say.”

There was no point in shouting at him and there was no one there to shout at so I went inside and called the office. The super picked up. She seemed shocked that the trees weren’t trimmed but destroyed. We commisserated at the butchery the tree service was committing because the landlord walked through the complex with the tree service guy and said, “Cut this. Trim that.” She offered me the phone number of the landlord but I didn’t see the point.

Fifteen minutes later, I couldn’t tolerate my feelings anymore and that I wasn’t doing anything about them. I called the super and asked for the landlord’s phone number. Then I called the landlord’s office, where I spoke to Dorothy, who was not properly appalled. The landlord was out of town until Tuesday, she said.

So, I wondered, who the hell is coming here tomorrow? And what’s left for the crew to cut tomorrow?

Dorothy said only that she’d try to get in touch with him and that she’d only heard the crew was supposed to trim branches, not cut down trees. I don’t hold out much hope that further destruction will be prevented.

Holly trees symbolize abundance and are supposed to be good luck. I’m not much for tears but this brought me awfully close. My upstairs neighbor’s bird feeder is lying on the lawn.

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